Leigh and I share one of those life events you wish you never had to share with anyone .. losing your Mother to cancer tends to connect women in a way that nothing else can. Leigh has been able to connect Mothers like us from all over the world, through her book ‘Without My Mum’. I have to confess that I am still working my way through it, there is so much similarity that at times I need to put it down. For me this is the measure of a book, how much emotion it can stir. Leigh has honestly, sensitively and so generously opened her own broken heart so that others can heal. I hope she realises just how many hearts she has helped healed ..
Inspired by… Leigh Van Der Horst
Extra-ordinary humans | Living their lives with JOY | Changing the world around them
Where in the world do you call home?
Mount Martha, The Mornington Peninsula, Victoria!
Describe your home and neighbourhood and the best thing about living there:
We live in a 2 story home with bay views, surrounded by lovely trees, about a 2 minute drive to the beach and shops. We are always renovating which keeps us very very busy! The best thing about where we live is that EVERY day it is beautiful. Rain, hail or shine. We love our hometown!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words:
Sensitive, Stoic, Ambitious
Where can we find your blog and other projects?
Book: Without My Mum
What is the purpose at the heart of your online magazine Mama Love?
The purpose of Mama Love is to share stories of inspiring tales and uplift and empower other women. We hope to inspire women with our fashion, design, makeup, health and food content as well as introduce some pretty special women doing amazing things in this world! It’s an online Sisterhood, run by everyday mums.
If you could choose any celebrity to become the Ambassador for Mama Love who would you choose and why?
Angelina Jolie! I adore her. I think she is a generous, world changing woman who cares very deeply for other people and unlike some cashed up celebs she puts her money where it is needed. I also know she lost her beloved mother in a similar circumstance as I did so we could sit and hug it out about our beautiful Mums xx
What do you think is the most important thing for us to teach the children of our generation?
RESPECT!!! It seems that the importance of manners and respect have become obsolete! My husband and I are so over the top when it comes to manners, me a little more so I think as the kids often tell me that I say ‘Thank you’ too much! But if a child has a lack of manners it eats away at me!
Which food and drink do you consider essential to your mental and physical wellbeing?
Water is my saviour. If I don’t drink enough in a day I feel really worn out and a bit crabby, sadly, chocolate is important to me. I love it a little too much and so am trying really hard to cut down!
How do you take care of yourself amongst the busy demands of daily life?
I don’t really. I’m a mum of four so admittedly, I come last most of the time. I have made the conscious effort this year to think more of myself though, without feeling guilty. My youngest has started pre-school so the times he is there, if I’m not at work I do what I want to do. That could be going for a walk or writing an article, lunch with a friend, whatever.. It is MY time and I wont compromise that at all. I deserve it!
Is there a charity or cause that you are currently aligned with or that you are planning to support through your work in the future?
I currently support Rafiki Mwema through the advertising on my Mama Love site. It is a cause founded by the wonderful people of ‘Play Kenya’ and co-ordinated by Sarah Rosborg here in Australia. Rafiki Mwema helps rehabilitate young girls in Kenya who have been abused.
What has been your greatest lesson in life so far?
That life really is to be appreciated. I have witnessed too many people I love lose their lives and have watched them fight so hard to remain alive. It has taught me that no matter what is going on, I must be grateful for all that I have. I teach my children this, a vital lesson for them I think.
What is your best advice for anyone else who has a dream to be extra-ordinary?
That you should listen to your heart. Your head can often tell you negative things! We have one life and if there is something that you really want to do, then find a way to make it happen and don’t let anyone’s negative attitude get in your way. Sometimes, other people don’t like to celebrate your success, it’s their problem, not yours!
Sweet treat: chocolate
Holiday destination: Somewhere tropical! We LOVED Nusa Lembongan, it was ridiculously relaxing!!!
Colour: Aqua Blue
Memory: I have so many. Often they just pop in my head at random moments! I owned a horse when I was a girl, his name was Burt. He was beautiful. I have fond memories of my time with him, and often Mum would ride along side us on a horse she cared for. So, that time of my life was rather idyllic. A little dream of mine is to own a horse again soon. I bug my husband about it ALL THE TIME!!!
Magazine: It depends on my mood. ‘Who Magazine’ for a soak in the bath and a bit of a ‘brain shut down’, ‘Shop Till You Drop’ to be fashionably inspired and obviously ‘Collective Hub’ to stay updated in worldly awesomeness! I wish I had more time to read my favourite mags, there really are too many to mention! I am a bit magazine obsessed!
Blog: I really don’t have much time to read blogs but at the moment I am being swept away by Courtney Adamo’s (@courtneyadamo on Instagram) travel blog Somewhere Slower based on her current travels with her beautiful family.
I am trying to get a friend of mine Claire (@jetsetmama on Instagram) to start a blog as her writing talent is just off the charts!! Maybe it wouldn’t be a good idea though come to think of it, I would be glued to my laptop!
Online store: I love ASOS! There are some seriously good sales and always something to buy! For the boys, I like ‘Surf Stitch’, they have great sales too! I’m a bit of a bargain hunter..
Smell: I adore the smell of coconut products. I religously use The Body Shop Coconut Butter EVERY day, it has become a habit. I never get tired of it.
Thank you Leigh for everything you are doing for Mothers, the sisterhood and especially those of us who miss our Mums ..